In Brief
  • Boston Dynamics' agile new robot Handle is six feet tall, has two front legs and a pair of hind wheels, and can travel roughly 15 miles on a single charge.
  • With its impressive flexibility and balance, Handle is a striking example of how far we have come in the field of robotics.

Here’s your first official look at Handle, Boston Dynamics’ newest robotic creation.

The robot stands a little over six feet tall and has four working “limbs” — two front legs and a pair of hind wheels that allow it to stand upright. It can travel roughly 24 kilometers (15 miles) on a single charge and can carry items up to about 45 kilograms (100 pounds) in weight.

Handle applies dynamics similar to those found in its quadruped and biped predecessors from Boston Dynamics. Unlike those, though, it only has 10 actuated joints, which makes it less complex, yet it is also more robust, with the same jointed movement ability as humans.

The addition of wheels allows Handle to move very efficiently across virtually all flat surfaces. Because it has both legs and wheels, the robot essentially has the best of both worlds and can go and move anywhere with ease. It can even carry heavier objects with better stability.

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Earlier, a leaked video from Boston Dynamics gave us a glimpse of what Handle could do by demonstrating its impressive flexibility and balance. But it’s nothing compared to what was just revealed in their official demonstration.

While it’s an impressive display of technological advancement, seeing all we have achieved in the field of robotics in the form of this robot may also leave you with unsettling feeling that humans have just created something that is simultaneously cool and slightly terrifying.